Coronavirus and Covid-19 proved a disaster for many traditional brick and mortar stores. Lockdown measures, social distancing advice and social isolation guidelines were put in place by countless governments around the world in a bid to slow and minimise the spread of the virus.
While these measures were essential for public safety and wellbeing, they did mean that many brick and mortar businesses were left completely unable to operate. As we appear to be coming out of the other side of the pandemic, and vaccines are being rolled out around the world, brick and mortar is back in business and more and more people are considering setting up a traditional, in-person store of their own. Of course, there are endless decisions that will need to be made in this process. But let’s start out with a few key areas of focus to get you started!
Choosing a Store Space
Where you locate your store can absolutely make or break your business. Somewhere too central and you could find it hard to meet the rental bills and overheads. Somewhere too out of the way and you can find that footfall into your store is non-existent. You’re going to have to do a whole lot of research into where your target demographic spend time, where they might be willing to travel to in order to shop with you and what your budget really is. Your best bet is to engage with commercial real estate consulting professionals who can take a look at available properties in your desired area and give you tailored advice on the best options to tick all of your boxes. Sometimes it’s best to get an outsiders eye to ensure that you’re not choosing a specific location and commercial space for personal reasons or the wrong reasons.
Decor and Design
Once you have a space, it’s time to start fitting it out. Now the essentials for your store will depend entirely on what you’re selling. If you’re selling coffee and cake, you’re going to need coffee machines, refrigerators, counters, tables and chairs. If you’re selling clothes, your focus may be more on window displays, points of sale or till points, shelves, storage units and more. Regardless of the basics, you should make sure to keep a consistent aesthetic throughout your space and ensure that the general decor, lighting, colour scheme and other touches work well and appeal to your target demographic.
Don’t forget security – this is an essential for any brick and mortar store. Seeing as you’re operating on a face to face basis, you’re going to find yourself more prone to shoplifting, theft, vandalism and more. Some popular security options include:
- CCTV – this will catch any crime on camera and provide evidence if required. It also acts as a great deterrent.
- Security Staff – security staff can monitor the premises and confront anyone who is acting inappropriately.
- Alarm Systems – security alarm systems are great for when the store is left at night. You can lock up and rest assured that if anyone tries to trespass, a loud alarm will be triggered.
Sure, there are a number of other areas you’re going to have to focus on when it comes to setting up your own store. But hopefully, some of the steps above will help get the whole process started out in the right direction!